BARPETA, April 24 - The unplugged embankment of the Burhadia River at Kalatali is giving people of several villages in the area sleepless nights.
For years together, the Burhadia has been creating havoc at Kalatali, Batia, Parahkuchi, Gomura and Karakuchi.
Flood and land erosion have made the lives of villagers in the area miserable, causing heavy damage to croplands and surface communication.
Not only the embankment but a number of residential plots and orchards were also washed away due to the erosion caused by the Burhadia for the last few years. The situation has aggravated since 2012 when the roads and the embankment on the southern part were washed away by the devastating flood that year. There is no road as such at Kalatali and Batia only because of the recurring floods.
Strong currents breached several parts of the embankment at Batia-Kallatali road in 2012. Since then the road was not repaired. As a result, students and other local people also have to suffer a lot, especially during the rainy season.
Due to recurring floods in the area, the BKP Anchalik High School situated on this road has become a deserted one for the last few years. No guardian takes the risk of admitting their children to that school which becomes inaccessible for four to five months of the year. Only a handful who live on the artificial and seasonal islands, adjacent to the school, study there.
Farmers in the area have to give up cultivation due to recurring floods. It has also created an adverse impact on the local economy.
Despite repeated requests by the local people of the area, the embankment has not been plugged yet and any effort to repair or rebuild the Batia-Kallatali road will be futile without completely plugging the embankment on the southern side of the river.
Of late, some repair work has been done on the embankment under MGNREGA but the quality of work is found to be poor. Sources said funds allotted under the scheme have not been released by the authorities concerned. Local people opine that even if funds are released now, it will not be possible to complete the work before the rainy season fully sets in.
It is evident that the people of this area will have to spend sleepless nights this year, given the apathetic attitude of the authorities concerned.